Due to recession and baby (the recession,baby), I spend a lot of evenings indoors, relying on the television for entertainment. This is why having a baby is difficult because you are subject to the whims of network programming (Who can afford cable, man? I mean, do you have it? You do. Where do you live?). So last night I saw It’s Worth What? also known as The Unrelatable Price is Right? and Why is This On? The host is Cedric the Entertainer and the basic premise is the contestants are presented with a bunch of obscenely expensive items and they need to determine which thing is the most obscenely expensive. So like Cedric will bring out an albino caribou with fins and a piano made out of foie gras and the contestants are like “Wha? I have no fucking idea. I will pick the piano? Based on absolutely no rationale whatsoever because why would I know anything about either item? I shop at fucking Aldi man. Have you seen the price of meat these days? Jesus Christ, I’ve been out of work for six months” and then Cedric shouts “IT’S WORTH WHAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT?” and the little computer screens next to the caribou eating the foie gras piano run through a bunch of huge prices until settling on what each costs, and of course the albino-finned caribou is $523,000 compared to the $345,000 foie gras piano, and the contestant is like “You expect me to register any emotion about this?” and the producers point to the line in the contract that states “You must express emotion in even the most ridiculous situations” and so the contestant then puts his face in his hands and shakes his head as if to say “I should have known the caribou was more expensive, I am such an idiot” and it continues for what feels like another 700 rounds.
I know this is supposed to be the rich fool’s The Price is Right, but no one cares what rich fools waste their money on while they’re exporting jobs oversees. It’s far too abstract. The contestants might as well be choosing between the value of a circle compared to a square or an asteroid to a meteor (fyi-the circle and meteor are the more expensive). The reason why The Price is Right has been on for 300 years is because you can actually play along. Most people have been in supermarkets and picked up a box of Rice-a-Roni and can make a pretty educated guess if that box costs more than a bar of Irish Spring. And it’s got Plinko.
So I make it through the whole show–it is an hour!?!–and then up next is America’s Fucking Sad, which is a “talent” competition featuring “celebrity” judges. The despair weighing me down has made it impossible to lift my body from the sofa so I’m watching the Wild Card episode where they bring back failures to make nearly all of them subject to another round of failures. First up is the Kinetic King, and he builds little structures out of tongue depressors and aluminum cans, and he pulls a string that knocks them all down due to kinetics or royalty. You know how dominoes look all cool and make designs that you weren’t expecting when knocked over? Well this isn’t it. This is just a big jumble of sticks and cans. And I know that if I roll a can into a bunch of other cans, they will knock over so what is the talent exactly? I guess it would be cool if I saw this as a demonstration at the Local Science Museum of Kinetic Jamboree after I got my hair all staticky on the ball of electricity, but it’s just what my living and dining rooms look like after my kinetic son is done playing his favorite game of knocking things over and throwing things around. The last time on the show the sticks and cans stayed upright so the Kinetic King is psyched that it worked this time. He’s so psyched that he gets in fetal position and sucks his thumb, and I realize the dream of America has ended.
Next up are little people inside puppets with giant heads, and they do a lip synch to a They Might Be Giants’ song. Talk-Show Host and Phone-Hacker Piers Morgan positively hates this act and is disgusted that Glove-Balloon Howie Mandel has brought it back, because he has standards like the fetal-prone Kinetic King. And I’m done for the night.
So this morning, I read how watching TV shortens your life and I’m like “You expect me to register any emotion on this?”